KAMPALA, Uganda -Over 1000 medical students at Makerere College of Health Sciences are expected to benefit from an annual European accredited clinical diabetes training programme under the Merck’s Capacity Advancement Programme. The US-based Merck, is one of the top five pharmaceutical companies in the world with annual revenues of about $50 billion.
The training programme is in partnership with the Ministry of Health and the Makerere College of Health Science.
Sarah Achieng Opendi, the minister in charge of Primary Health said recently at the launch that Uganda is privileged to be the first African beneficiary.
Elcin Ergun, Senior Vice President of Merck Serono said, the campaign’s main aim is to reverse the worrying trend by preventing or delaying the development of diabetes in Uganda’s population.
He said, “Our diabetes awareness campaign is mainly to raise awareness among Ugandans by educating the public on ways to prevent, diagnose and manage the condition effectively.”
The programme whose main aim is expanding professional capacity in Africa in areas of research, community awareness and medical education will equip the medical students with the necessary information on diabetes that may be opaque to them.
The minister applauded Merck Serono for their efforts in rolling out the diabetes awareness campaign in Uganda
“Today marks another key milestone in our efforts to reduce the high incidence of diabetes. The rising number of diabetics all over the world calls for prioritizing diabetes care and awareness so as to prevent it from becoming a national disease” she said
She said that the campaign is supposed to compliment government efforts of improving health care systems in Uganda and Africa at large through educating and empowering those affected by the disease and on how to manage and prevent it.
“On behalf of the government our ministry is delighted to partner with Merck who is committed to providing sustainable access to high quality safe medication and health solution in developing countries,” she said.
Opendi also requested Merck to work with the ministry so as to ensure that health care systems are supported to prevent and manage diabetes effectively and efficiently.
Since diabetes doesn’t present symptoms many people have suffered complications such as blindness, foot ulcer, and heart diseases therefore this has been considered as a great initiative by organisations such as the Uganda Diabetes Association.
From studies carried out by the ministry of health and experts opinions, it is estimated that about two million people live diabetes. It is further 2020 non-communicable diseases like Diabetes, cancer will kill more than HIV/AIDS, Ebola and Marburg.